A Little Something Blue

Grape Hyacinth (wip)

So I’ve been wanting to do something in blue. My first thought was grapes on a vine but then I thought “Aren’t those more purple than blue? From there my mind shifted to something more obvious…blueberries. Once again I thought “Would that fit into the overall theme of most of the work I do? I mean, yes, it’s botanical but how often do you see me draw fruit?” Most of my subject matter is either the female figure, the female figure with flowers or just flowers…with an insect here and there. Maybe I’ll add in other elements into the repertoire later on but for now I just wanted to do more flowers. So my choice for this piece is an ACEO drawing of Grape Hyacinth. 

I typically use blue for shadowing or the background. So this will be a first for me using it as the prominent color of a subject. One of the reasons why I’ve never used it as a prominent color is because it either reminds me of sleep (my bedroom is painted blue) or it just depresses me. But for some odd reason I just wanted to do something in blue. Maybe this little drawing will change my perspective


“Magnolia” 8×6 botanical ink drawing.

60 mph winds swooped through my area last night and knocked downed trees and power lines for over 600k residents. I am one of those residents. In an effort to finish this baby up, I had to go all 1820s, pulling out oil lamps, candles…and an old iPod Touch, which I used as a handheld light source to get a closer look at my work. It was a chilly, dark but beautifully moon lite productive night.

The power is still out and it may be so for a few days. Good thing the weather isn’t too cold to lose a couple of toes to frost or too warm to make all the meat in the freezer go bad. I’m currently wrapped up in two blankets, a fur hat, head scarf, Nike pulled over, a thermal shirt, tank top, sweat pants, two pairs of socks and slippers. I don’t think I’ll be getting much done today since the temperature is suppose to be dropping and we might get some snow. But I’m glad that I pushed through and got Magnolia done. This is my first 8×6 all botanical ink drawing, a departure from my usual ACEO drawings. During the process of creating it I started following the works of other botanical artists on Instagram in an interest to learn more about botanical art. Since the female form and flowers are a common theme in my work I figured I would explore the works of others who also like to draw flowers and other various plant life, to take a peek at their techniques, subject and materials they like to use. Being a former student of botany, I think botanical art is right up my alley.

Anyhoo, “Magnolia” is all finished and now available for a new home at my online store: www.qrumbley.com

Drawing by candle light.

Spring In February

Line drawing for “Magnolia”.

It’s been unseasonably warm this winter for the Mitten state. I’m talking about 60 degrees in February warm. That’s not normal for us. Strange weather always puts me a little on edge. But despite my concern, we’ve been taking advantage of this warm weather and firing up the grill for some winter barbecue…well, minus the winter. In my house we’re always looking for an excuse to light up the pit and burn up some meat…literally. (For years I’ve been telling my husband that ‘burnt’ isn’t a flavor and for years I’ve been losing that battle.)

This absence of snow and biting chill has got me thinking that it’s Spring and I’m anxious to see the flowers bloom, especially on the Magnolia tree in front of our home, which fills the air with its soft fragrance and delights the eyes with its beautiful pink and white bloom. Unfortunately it hasn’t been doing too well over the last year and not being in any way knowledgeable about trees, I am only recently learning that it might be infested with magnolia scale. I’m currently researching more to find out what I can do to help this beauty back to health and keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll recover. So in spirit of the coming Spring and with thoughts of my Magnolia tree, I’m currently working on a piece simply called “Magnolia”.